Recording in UNM rape case released - Albuquerque Journal

Recording in UNM rape case released

The attorney for three men accused of raping a University of New Mexico student three years ago released tapes of a UNM detective’s discussion with other officers about the case after, it appears, the detective believed he had turned off his recorder.

Charges were dropped against the three men, two of whom were UNM football players at the time of the alleged assault, and they are suing UNM, claiming it mishandled the investigation.

On the recording, investigator Guadalupe Guevara speaks lewdly about collecting evidence from one of the accused, discusses how to handle the case and boasts about its high-profile nature.

Attorney George Bleus, who is representing the three, made the recording public Thursday.

University spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said Friday the officers were verbally warned for unprofessional conduct related to some of the comments and language in the recording.

The recording was made in 2014 after the officers took DNA from one of the then-suspects, who was there with his attorney, Paul Kennedy. It appears the recorder continued to tape after Kennedy and his client left.

“This is going to be – this is going to be the biggest case I’ve ever done,” Guevara said. “I’ve had some big cases. This is going to rival it. This is going to be my Everest and my last.”

In 2013, then-UNM student Courtney Spencer reported to UNMPD that three men gang-raped her in a car.

Later, campus police arrested Gongbay Crusoe and SaQwan Edwards – then-Lobo football players – and Ryan Ruff in connection with the rape. Spencer went public with the case and identified herself.

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg dismissed the charges in August 2014, citing a lack of evidence.

Anderson said UNM plans to defend itself from Bleus’ lawsuit.

“We stand by our UNM Police Department and its investigation,” Anderson said in a statement. “The disciplinary action taken against the two officers is separate and unrelated to the lawsuit.”

Bleus, who is suing UNM on behalf of the three men previously accused, argued this week that the recording shows the detective wanted a big case that would put him in the limelight. And Bleus said his clients have been carrying the stigma of having been accused of rape for years.

“They’re absolutely two different sides to this coin,” Bleus said. “They (the public) saw one side, and they rushed to judgment despite the fact that there has been some notation that these guys have been cleared.”

Bleus also questioned why investigators pursued charges against all three men, since part of the recording suggested they only had interest in Crusoe.

“It’s all Crusoe, it’s none of these other guys, you know. But if we can put them all together, especially Crusoe – Crusoe’s got several charges over his head. That guy’s going to sing like a bird,” Guevara said, according to a transcript of the recording.

Earlier in the recording, two unidentified UNM police officers can be heard talking about the three men and their attorney, Kennedy.

“You guys are just trying to railroad these guys, man,” one can be heard saying.

“Yeah, well we made him get Paul Kennedy, right?” the other says. “That’s how we do it ’round here.”

Spencer, after charges were dropped, filed a Title IX complaint in February of last year against the university for improperly handing the investigation and being more interested in protecting football players than responding to her claims.

And earlier this year, Bleus filed a civil suit against UNM and its police department on behalf of the three men who were accused because of a “botched” investigation.

Attorney Brad Hall, who is representing Spencer, said Friday he had not heard of Bleus’ lawsuit because he was out of town.

But he said the notion of UNMPD “pursuing a case knowing the suspects were innocent is completely absurd.”

” I don’t see anything in the reported chit chat between police officers that took place at some point in their ongoing investigation which even remotely suggests anything like what is being suggested,” he said in an email to the Journal. “It’s hardly a bombshell.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Recording in UNM rape case released

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
New Mexico passed laws protecting access to abortion. Opponents ...
ABQnews Seeker
Anti-abortion activists want to challenge the ... Anti-abortion activists want to challenge the passage of New Mexico’s House Bill 7 in court.
Comstock Act: How does it fit in the abortion ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ordinances pertaining to abortion access that ... Ordinances pertaining to abortion access that passed in jurisdictions across eastern New Mexico are rooted in this 150-year-old law.
Photos: UNM Lobos baseball team fall 2-0 against NMSU
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque trims bus schedule, seeks input on future service ...
ABQnews Seeker
A staffing shortage is prompting ABQ ... A staffing shortage is prompting ABQ RIDE to suspend some routes and reduce service on many others
Former Albuquerque city staffer claims she was wrongfully fired ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mara Burstein, a former city administrator, ... Mara Burstein, a former city administrator, alleges she was fired despite statements from a doctor attesting that her medical conditions required her to telecommute ...
Albuquerque drivers who aren’t paying speed camera tickets could ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mayor Tim Keller wants to make ... Mayor Tim Keller wants to make it illegal for people with multiple unpaid speed-camera citations to park on city streets or other city property ...
US regulators delay decision on nuclear fuel storage license
ABQnews Seeker
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- U.S. regulators ... ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- U.S. regulators say they need more time to wrap up a final safety report and make a decision on whether ...
Mudvayne to play Isleta Amphitheater on Aug. 15
ABQnews Seeker
For more than two decades, Mudvayne ... For more than two decades, Mudvayne has been making heavy metal music its own way. The 'Psychotherapy Sessions 2023' tour will stop at Isleta ...
Archbishop of Santa Fe offers apology to clergy sexual ...
ABQnews Seeker
A letter from Archbishop John Wester ... A letter from Archbishop John Wester to victims of clergy sexual abuse comes as the archdiocese and survivors are working to resolve a long-running ...